Dr. International is dead, long live Dr. International...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/01/29 14:46 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/01/29/9955550.aspx

Over in the Suggestion Box, Michal asked:

With Dr. International (http://blogs.msdn.com/drintl/) being inactive for years - who's gonna write "Developing International Software, Third Edition" now? I think there is still some stuff missing:

    - localized size units (French "octets") to cover...
    - the Japanese (and Korean) path separators...
    - more information on registry keys and paths translated in localized OSes...


Ah, the questions that are painful to even read, let alone answer....

Interestingly, that book has never had a "real" author in the conventional sense.

The first edition has Nadine Kano listed as the author but even she would point out that it was the work of a whole team of people. And there is no publisher other than perhaps Wrox that would be comfortable with an army of authors listed on the cover.

The second edition was also written by a team, but rather than focus on any one person (a focus that I suspect Nadine did not always enjoy, especially now so many years later that she is in another group doing unrelated work), they chose the virtual team member, Dr. International.

The secret about Dr. International is that once upon a time, I was him!

When it first started out, Bjoern wanted to meet with me, for two reasons:

Since his team had a responsibility to be doing that as well, he thought maybe I could be on his team!

And he had an idea about it - like an international version of Dr. GUI, a "Dr. International".

I thought it was a cool idea, though I doubted it would be a fulltime gig. He suggested maybe 10 hours a week tops, I'd write a column and could do the whole talking about myself in the third person thing that Dr. GUI was so famous for, etc.

After six months the contract ended and other members of the team took over the job of being Dr. International.

And of course he eventually got a blog.

In general they dropped the third person thing which I admit I really got into -- and still do in my facebook statuses I post. It isn't pretension, it is just fun. I missed that....

Twice since that time I have proposed that a third edition of the book, one more focused on Windows (and perhaps .Net) rather than all Microsoft products like the second edition tried to do. Both time I was not told no outright but the project never was formally approved.

And now with the last member of that team who was still working on various projects gone (one of the primary successors to me all along, good for continuity!), Dr. International is truly gone now.

Given the re-org within Windows, the third edition is unlikely since no group would be likely willing to fund it and the book would not make enough to do as an independent project.

I suppose I'll just have to keep blogging, and not writing (ref: About [not] writing books...).

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referenced by

2015/08/27 Trying to build some kind of a narrative #6: Several of the more intriguing of the other 32 (of 37) contracts at Microsoft

2010/12/31 Part #1 of "You think this is better. Really?"

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